Can you relate to these words, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19)? However, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18). He is “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
Christ is able to help everyone overcome temptations, habitual sin, and addictions. There is always a way to escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:12–13). The apostle Paul revealed, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). Walking by the Spirit means living by faith that produces a life filled with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–24).
To begin walking in the Spirit, one must believe to become obedient to the Gospel (Rom 6:17; 2 Thess 1:7–9). The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel that saves believers (1 Cor 15:1–4). Each confessing believer must die with Christ repenting of their sins, be buried with Christ by baptism in His name, and be raised with Christ into the newness of life (Rom 6:1–7, Col 2:11–13). This is when God raises the believer with Christ and saves the believer by His grace (Eph 2:4–6).
(1) Recognize what must change.
- Will giving into temptations help you stop sinning and grow closer to God and Christ?
- What comes from giving into sinful temptations? “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Rom 6:20–23)
- Do you feel sorrow, shame, guilt, stress, and selfish after giving into sin?
- Do you know how to stop these desires from dominating your mind and body (Rom 6:12; 8:5–6)?
- Are you seeing any thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that come before or after you give into temptation?
- What will ultimately happen if you continue this sinful behavior?
- Do you think that sin is living in you and often ruling over you?
- Do you believe that your behavior is keeping you from growing closer to God?
- Do you want God to help you change and live a holy life?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Rom 6:21).
- “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isa 59:2).
- “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:1–4; cf. Heb 10:26; 1 John 3:4–9).
- “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
Other Scriptures: Mark 7:20–23; 8:36–37; 10:26–28; Luke 12:5; Rom 1:28–32; 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor 6:9–11; 2 Cor 5:14–15; Rev 19:20; 20:10.
(2) Realize what is happening to you.
- When you face temptations, do you see sorrow, shame, guilt, and stress on the other side of this behavior?
- Are there any parts of your behavior that you do not regret?
- How do you convince yourself to give into temptation?
- What do you say to yourself to give into your urges?
- Find a prayer that will help you cope with these urges:
- “Almighty God, Help me to realize that this evil will not stop if I keep giving into it. Holy Father, Help me to see that I am able to endure this temptation to escape it. Give me strength. In Christ’s name, Amen.”
- “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38; cf. Matt 26:41; Luke 22:40, 46).
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:12–13).
- “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Rom 6:12).
- “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas 1:14–15).
- “Therefore subordinate to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas 4:7–10; cf. Acts 17:26–27).
Other Scriptures: Luke 4:1–13; Rom 2:5–11; 6:16–23; 7:13-25; Eph 4:17–24; 2 Tim 2:24–26; Jas 1:14–16; 1 John 2:16–17.
(3) See the way of escape.
- How aware are you of the coming sorrow, shame, guilt, and stress that the sin will produce before giving into the temptations?
- Will giving into the same temptations help decrease temptations and help you to escape sin?
- Do you believe that God is faithful not to allow sin to tempt you beyond what you are able (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Are temptations common to everyone (1 Cor 10:12–13)? Will desires tempt you again (Jas 1:14–15)?
- If you obey sinful desires, will these continue to denominate you (Rom 6:12)?
- Will surrounding yourself with temptations help you escape them (Rom 13:13–14, 1 Cor 15:33)?
- Will enduring temptations help you overcome them (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Will you have to bear certain urges for some time to overcome them (1 Cor 10:13)?
- What must you do to avoid temptations to prevent giving into them? Will you have to end some friendships and disconnect other influences?
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
- “And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal 5:24).
- Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. […] Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin'” (John 8:31–34).
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
- “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14).
- “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Cor 15:33).
- “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom 8:5–6, cf. 12:2).
Other Scriptures: Luke 9:23–24; Rom 6:1–15; Gal 2:20; 5:16–24; 1 John 3:4–9.
(4) Come to a new life with God in Christ.
- What good things can replace your temptations (Gal 5:16–24)?
- What are some ways that life will improve when you stop giving into these temptations?
- How do you feel about living without sin — no longer doing evil?
- How clear will your conscience feel to end these sins?
- How pure will your heart and mind become without giving into sin?
- How would you describe God’s blessings when you are able to stop this sin?
- Will you encourage and help others?
- “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Col 1:21; cf. Eph 4:17–19).
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12).
- “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:14–15).
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:22–25).
- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:31–32).
- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37).
Other Scriptures: Matt 11:28–30; Rom 8:1–39; Eph 1:3; Phil 4:8; Heb 2:16–18; 4:15–16; 2 Pet 2:9.
*Prayerfully study these Scriptures daily, set your mind on the Spirit, and thus walk by the Spirit. May God bless everyone reading this and struggling with an addictive sin to allow the Word of God to overcome this sin from within the heart. [**If you are going to detox your body from a substance go to an Emergency Room or a rehabilitation clinic. Detoxification can be very dangerous.**]